Isthmian Update July 21

New bidders

Isthmian Update July 21: At least four international duty free shop operators have shown interest in participating in future tenders held by Tocumen, S.A. In December 2017 the current concessions, which are in the hands of the Panamanian companies Waked International, S.A. (WISA) and Motta International, will expire. Since 2007 the two enterprises have paid a total of $173 million to control the 500,000 square meters of commercial space at the airport.

Direct flights to Honduras

Air Panama and Air Europa of Spain will fly to the island of Roatan on the Honduran Caribbean coast, and San Pedro Sula, on the north, according to the president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Honduras (CANATURH), Epaminondas Marinakys. ” Along with the government, the Honduran Institute of Tourism and the private sector, we are making concerted efforts for European airlines to have direct flights to the country and some progress has been made with Air Europa”, Marinakys told Efe in Tegucigalpa.

Weak exports

Exports to third markets from Panama suffered a fall of 14.5% in the first quarter of 2016, as reported by the Monitor of Central American Trade, produced by the Department of Economic Intelligence of the Secretariat of Central American Economic Integration (SIECA). Throughout the region, se Panama, recorded the strongest decline from January to March as Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua experienced a decline of between 1.5% and 3.4%.

Protected wages

The Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development and employees of the Wisa Group signed an agreement to protect the payment of their wages and benefits. Within four months, the company will deposit in an account of the National Bank of Panama the total amount of money for employees’ benefits and compensation. The authorities will calculate benefits and allowances taking wages received from December 15, 2015 to June 15, 2016 as reference.

Less revenue

Accumulated toll revenues of the Panama Canal in the first five months of this year reached $791.5 million, 3.7% less than in the same period of 2015, according to official statistics released on Sunday. The Panama Canal recorded a total of $821.6 million in revenue during the first five months of 2015, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census of the Comptroller’s Office.

Regulated internet

Internet Service for Public Use Customers in Panama who have experienced temporary interruptions during a billing period which are not caused by them, will receive a monthly accreditation of fixed Internet from the provider, as part of the new rules approved by the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) to regulate this sector.

No sex please

José Domingo Ulloa, Archbishop of the Catholic Church, said that a sex education law should be made “for Panamanians” and not be based on imported models. He was referring to Bill 61 which will be discussed soon in the National Assembly. “There are values in Panama that we cannot lose,” said Ulloa on TVN questioning the ‘gender ideology’ in other countries that has damaged those values.

Isthmian Update July 21: Lost opportunity

Panama, the country with the best port infrastructure in Latin America as well as a canal, is not taking advantage of its position to increase exports of agricultural products, which have been in decline. This is one of the concerns of the logistics sector, whose experts say the country must not only sell logistics services, but also increase agricultural production, either for export or to meet the needs of ships transiting the Canal.

Wasted energy

Some $59.5 million will be paid by the State Electricity Transmission Company, S.A. (Etesa) to hydroelectric operators who could not send their energy to the grid, because the third line to transport energy between Chiriqui and Panama has not been built yet. The payments for the period 2014 to 2016 will go to ENEL Fortuna, which manages the power station at Fortuna, and also to AES, the operator of the Esti and Changuinola hydroelectric plants. The third transmission line construction work, which will have a length of 297 kilometers and a cost of $273 million, was stopped during Ricardo Martinelli’s government.

More rain

Edilberto Esquivel, director of Etesa Hydrometeorology, has announced that for the next quarter, which covers the months of August, September and October, rainfall will be above normal in Chiriquí, the Ngäbe-Bugle region, central and southern Veraguas and northern Cocle. That was one of the conclusions of the” Regional Climate Outlook” forum for the period August to October 2016 covering Central America, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. In this forum the most recent oceanic and atmospheric conditions were assessed, and historic rainfall records, forecasts of global models and their possible implications for rainfall patterns in the region were analyzed

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